Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How Do Heavy Bumblebees Fly?

From Creation Moments

What keeps the big-bodied bumblebee with those little stubby wings in the air? Scientists are still trying to learn the secret of bumblebee flight. And while they are learning some astonishing things about the bumblebee, they still don't know how he does it.

Scientists have been testing bumblebees by monitoring their energy use, placing them in wind tunnels, and measuring their oxygen use. No, they haven't been able to make little oxygen masks for the bees - bumblebees have 24 breathing holes.

Scientists have learned that a flying bumblebee flaps its wings 160 times per second and consumes the equivalent of 180 candy bars per hour! A flying bee uses the same amount of oxygen for its body weight as a flying bird or a bat. However, unlike birds, the bumblebee uses no more oxygen when hovering than when flying. This is only one of the discoveries that contradict scientists' theories. In fact, the director of the latest studies on bumblebee flight admits that they still have no idea how the bumblebee stays in the air. He warns other scientists to stop using the current theories on the subject because they are far too simple.

Of course, our Creator God knows how to make a bumblebee fly, even if the best of modern science can't figure it out.

Reference: Cowen, R. 1990. Bumblebee energy: What's the buzz? Science News,
v. 138, Oct. 6. p. 215.

Source: Creation Moments

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